There are very many good voices. There are even some great voices around, although those do not abound. What is rare to find these days is a great voice in the body of a great singing artist. Those are a few in a thousand, if that many. Anita Rachvelishvili is that rare individual: a great voice and a great artist both in a perfect combination.

Since the Georgian mezzo-soprano sings a good number of the selections in this album in Russian, the English titles are given here for ease of identification.

Elégie, includes the familiar How fair this spot and None but the lonely heart, the declamatory, quasi operatic Night, O do not mourn me, and Reconciliation, and the lyrical Child you are beautiful as a flower, Sing to me, my beauty, I fell in love, and How fair this spot – all Tchaikovsky Romances that call for a full palette of vocal colors fully at the disposal of the artistically and vocally inexhaustible Anita Rachvelishvili. Here she is accompanied by the superb pianist Vincenzo Scalera, who proves to be the ideal musical partner in this recording.

There is a hauntingly beautiful song exquisitely sung by Ms. Rachvelishvili in her native Georgian: Otar Taktakihvili’s Mzeo Tiabatvis (Sun  of Haying Month). There are Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares delivered in idiomatic Castilian Spanish, there are three Tosti songs elevated by the singer from salon evergreens to art songs, including the beloved Ideale. There are three French mélodies: Chanson Triste, La Vie Antérieure, and Elégie sung with Gallic flair and impeccable diction.

In any idiom Ms. Rachvelishvili imbues her singing of this recital repertoire with restraint and elegance, never for a moment betraying the delicacy of the genre with any larger than life operatic grandstanding – this all the more remarkable since we are dealing here with a large, voluptuous, dramatic mezzo-soprano utterly comfortable in any of the major Verdi roles which she so comfortably inhabits.

The SONY CLASSICAL INTERNATIONAL recording is perfectly engineered and elegantly produced, providing yet another superb calling card to one of the greatest singers currently working today.

Rafael de Acha                  ALL ABOUT  THE ARTS